868.51 Refugee Settlement Commission/38

The French Ambassador ( Jusserand ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: My Government, to which I forwarded Your Excellency’s communication of March 31 last16 relative to the [Page 336] refugees from Asia Minor, informs me that apart from the international agreement sought by the American Government, France, where labor is scarce by reason of the losses inflicted by the last war, especially labor in the fields, would be disposed to utilize a certain number of Armenian and particularly Greek refugees if the American committees having them in charge were in a position to defray their transportation.

Before doing this it would, however, be indispensable to have a few trial shipments of from 100 to 200 persons, consisting of single adults, a few families and orphans.

If those trial shipments of farm laborers at first should succeed, the shipments might be continued on a broader scale and France might shelter several thousands of refugees.

The elements constituting such shipments should, before embarking, be inspected from a sanitary and moral standpoint. This inspection, in which we should have a part, cannot be dispensed with, as if undesirable elements should come to France the shipments would have to be discontinued.

I shall be thankful to Your Excellency to let me know as soon as you can whether the American committees would agree to take action in the sense above indicated. An understanding should be reached at as early a date as possible so that the places and dates of shipment may be determined upon. According to the information held by my Government most of the refugees are now in Greece, Constantinople, and Aleppo.

Be pleased [etc.]

  1. File translation revised.
  2. See footnote 11, p. 329.